Location, Location, Location. Is it Important?
I have been prompted to write this blog based on a text message I received tonight from a bride contemplating where she and her fiancé should host their engagement session next week. She sent me two images from my portfolio asking where they were taken? One image (which I will show later in this post) was taken next to a Meijer parking lot in Port Huron, the other, in the forest in Breckenridge, Colorado. I shared that with her and then replied, "See, I can make magic anywhere."
The truth is, photographers in fact CAN make magic anywhere. I have found in my journey as a professional that I care less and less about where we are taking pictures, or what the subjects are wearing, or how the weather is panning out, but more and more about the interaction and connection between my couples. Your engagement session/family session/wedding day is truthfully not about the scenery behind you, or the accessories you've added to your outfit. It is about you and your partner, your family, and the love and realness you share for each other.
As a growing artist, I typically feel most inspired by randomness or spontaneity. Some of my favorite images have been taken on the way to the designated location, or are of areas that I spotted out of the corner of my eye while shooting elsewhere. Some of those stories I have shared with associated images below.
While this is not a new concept or theory, I have heard mentors discuss this topic on several occasions and I know many other photographers share these feelings, I simply want to reiterate. This is our job, our eyes are trained for this and you have hired us because you like what we do and you trust us with your most precious and important moments. I am not by any means implying that you should not consider locations, you do not have to totally rely on me to place you next to dumpsters or compost piles and create masterpieces. I think if there is space meaningful to you, or you have a vision, please share. What I am implying is that with the type of work that I strive to create, location is not high on our priority list. The more creative freedom and trust you put in your photographer the more likely you are to have incredible, unique, raw photographs.
Here are a few images taken over the last year in the most random, maybe least expected, but beautiful places. The point that I am trying to make is that location is really not all that detrimental to the quality you will receive. So instead of scouting or stressing, focus on your partner and on what means the most!